BILT Desert Air Women’s Jacket Review: How Does It Compare to Pure Mesh Jackets?

The BILT Desert Air jacket promises to keep female riders cool and protected during warm-weather motorcycle rides.

With its hybrid leather and mesh construction, does this affordable women’s motorcycle jacket deliver maximal airflow without sacrificing safety?

But, the main question I will answer in this review will be: Is this the best leather motorcycle jacket for women? Let’s find out!

BILT Desert Air Women’s Jacket


Key Takeaways

  • Leather shields vulnerable zones.
  • Mesh cools riders in heat.
  • Stretch fits diverse bodies.

Key Takeaways:

  • Hybrid leather & mesh construction
  • Generous airflow from mesh panels
  • CE armor in shoulders & elbows
  • Accommodates various body types
  • Matches with Desert Air pants

An Overview of the BILT Desert Air Jacket

The Desert Air’s combination of 1mm Buffalo leather and 750D mesh panels stands out. This allows for cooling airflow while maintaining abrasion protection in key areas.

Considered a 2-3 season leather motorcycle jacket, the Desert Air also includes a removable thermal liner for chillier Fall rides. Its neutral style appeals to riders not fond of loud colors or branding.

With sizes ranging from small to 3XL, it accommodates various body types thanks to an abundance of stretch paneling. Priced around $220, it provides functionality well above its budget-friendly cost.

Now, let’s dive deeper into the Desert Air’s construction and features.

Detailed Analysis of the BILT Desert Air Jacket

Exterior Shell & Materials

The Desert Air cleverly places Buffalo leather in high-impact zones like the shoulders and elbows. Meanwhile, the breathable mesh makes up the lighter-colored panels on the sleeves, sides, and back.

This combination offers:

  • Abrasion protection where you need it most
  • Airflow to keep you cool in warmer weather
  • Versatility for multi-season riding

The neutral black and gray colors are attractive without being overly flashy. Reflective piping adds a subtle pop of visibility when illuminated at night.

Comfort & Fit

With women’s jackets, fit and comfort are essential. The Desert Air excels here through:

  • True-to-size fit based on bust measurement
  • Stretch panels on sides, under arms, and waist
  • Pre-curved sleeves that move naturally
  • Accordion folds for flexibility when riding

These features accommodate different body shapes while allowing a full range of motion. The stretch fabric also minimizes irritation from rubbing or bunching.

For larger riders, sizes up to 3XL combined with the generous stretch provide a women’s jacket that finally fits.


Armor & Safety

Protection is a top priority for any motorcycle jacket. The Desert Air includes:

  • CE-approved armor on shoulders & elbows
  • Abrasion-resistant Buffalo leather
  • Reflective piping for visibility

Upgrading to a Level 2 back protector would further boost safety for just $30 more. The back armor pocket makes inserting one easy.

While not loaded with armor, the CE-approved pads provide essential impact protection. Leather overlays significantly resist abrasion in key areas.

Ventilation & Weather Protection

Flow-through ventilation is where the Desert Air excels. Mesh paneling placed strategically across the sleeves, front, and back allows constant air circulation.

The mesh works wonders to keep you cool during summer rides, especially with the front zipper opened a bit. Turning your head pumps air throughout the jacket.

For cooler rides, the zip-out thermal liner adds warmth and wind protection. While not meant for winter, it does extend the Desert Air’s comfort into spring and fall.

Pockets & Storage

Motorcycle jackets live up to their full potential when offering ample, well-designed storage. The Desert Air delivers with:

  • 2 zippered hand pockets
  • Interior stash pockets
  • Low-profile Napoleon chest pocket

The zippered side pockets provide secure storage accessible while riding. Inside, the Napoleon pocket grants easy access to items like a phone or wallet.

While not excessive storage, these pockets supply functional spaces for daily essentials. The zippers ensure items stay put, unlike many jackets with open pockets.

How Does the Desert Air Compare to Similar Jackets?

Jacket NameKey FeaturesSpecialization
BILT Desert Air Women’s JacketExcellent airflow, lightweight designHot weather riding
Spidi 4Season H2Out Women’s JacketAll-season versatility, waterproof membraneVersatile riding in various weather
Roland Sands Cambria CE Women’s JacketCE-certified armor, stylish designStyle and protection
Dainese Sevilla Air Tex Women’s JacketBreathability, abrasion resistanceBalancing protection and airflow
Sedici Federico 2 Women’s JacketSporty design, affordable priceBudget-friendly, multi-purpose
Klim Artemis Women’s JacketPremium quality, advanced materialsDurability, various riding styles

BILT Desert Air vs. Milwaukee Leather Women’s Lane Splitter

Like the Desert Air, the Milwaukee Lane Splitter mixes leather and textiles for a hybrid approach. But at a higher $260 price, does it warrant the extra cost?

The Lane Splitter includes more armor with added shoulder and elbow pads. However, its leather panels use a thinner 0.8mm construction. And with fewer mesh panels, airflow suffers compared to the Desert Air.

While a quality option, the Lane Splitter doesn’t provide enough advantages to justify paying $40 extra.

BILT Desert Air vs. Icon Overland Jacket

As a premium brand, Icon commands a steeper price for its jackets. The Overland costs around $320, $100 more than the Desert Air.

You get a lot for the extra money, including the Icon Airframe Pro Mesh armor. This advanced perforated armor better vents heat while protecting your vital parts.

The Overland also incorporates Hycor leather, an extremely abrasion-resistant material. It remains the ultimate hot weather jacket but requires a bigger investment.

BILT Desert Air vs. Textile Jackets

Less expensive than leather, textile jackets like the Joe Rocket Phoenix offer maximum airflow for summer riding. Made entirely of mesh, they keep you cool in the hottest conditions.

However, textile lacks the abrasion resistance of leather and is more prone to tearing. Leather also better slides rather than gripping the pavement during a slide.

For these safety reasons, the Desert Air’s leather & mesh hybrid construction remains preferable for most riders.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Desert Air run small or large?

The Desert Air has a true-to-size fit based on bust measurement. Order your normal jacket size for the proper slim but not tight fit. The stretch panels further allow it to accommodate different body shapes.

Is the Desert Air a 3 or 4-season jacket?

With its generous mesh paneling, the Desert Air works best in warm to mild weather. It can stretch into spring and fall with the thermal liner installed, but is not ideal for colder winter temperatures. Consider it a solid 2-3 season jacket.

Is there a matching Desert Air pants option?

Yes, BILT offers matching Desert Air pants to complete the look. Like the jacket, it mixes leather and textile materials for a lightweight and breezy feel. Connecting zippers allow you to attach the pants to the jacket.

Does the Desert Air come in different colors?

Currently, BILT only offers the Desert Air in the black and gray color scheme. Riders looking for brighter color options may want to consider other jackets like the Icon Overland.

Is the Desert Air good for larger bust sizes?

Definitely! The stretch panels extended sizing up to 3XL, and pre-curved zipper opening all make the Desert Air an excellent choice for well-endowed riders. Customer reviews from bustier women confirm that the Desert air accommodates larger cups without uncomfortable squeezing.

Conclusion: A Worthy Budget-Friendly Summer Riding Jacket

The BILT Desert Air hits a sweet spot between quality and affordability. For just over $200, it delivers ample airflow from thoughtfully placed mesh panels. Durable leather provides protection where you need it most.

While not loaded with armor or features like some pricier jackets, it nails the fundamentals female riders demand. The Desert Air combines versatility, comfort, and protection into a well-rounded package.

Riders seeking the ultimate in ventilation may want to pay extra for a premium textile jacket. However, the Desert Air’s smart leather & mesh balance make it the best-value summer riding jacket for most.

Considering its cost, features, and 4+ star average rating, we can confidently recommend the BILT Desert Air as a women’s jacket that excels in hot weather cruising. It keeps you cool on summer rides without breaking the bank.

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